As always happens in Local Studies when we start researching one thing we, somehow, become distracted by another thing!
While researching an idea for an exhibition I came across a rather surprising piece of local information, then another and then another!
It appears one of the architects who designed the Australian War Memorial lived in Silex Road; the Commandant of the Internment Camps of Australasia during the First World War lived in Silex Road; a British Consul for German New Guinea lived in Silex Road.
Visiting Canberra? Those with an interest in Mosman’s connections with WWI are well served by the National Gallery of Australia’s exhibition, Artists of the Great War.
Strike-breakers at Taronga Zoo viewing the monkey enclosure, 1917. Their tents can be seen in the trees behind them. Stanley R. Beer Studio (National Library of Australia)
Photographs of strike-breakers at Taronga Zoo and a digitised image of a letter written by a Mosman mother enquiring about her son, give us a glimpse into Australian society in the early 20th century.
The body of an Australian soldier killed in the German 2nd line, photographed by Hauptmann Eckart, intelligence officer of the 6th Bavarian Division. Image: AWM A01566
Stammering scores of German machine-guns spluttered violently, drowning the noise of the cannonade. The air was thick with bullets, swishing in a flat, criss-crossed lattice of death … The bullets skimmed low, from knee to groin, riddling the tumbling bodies before they touched the ground. Hundreds were mown down in the flicker of an eyelid, like great rows of teeth knocked from a comb … Men were cut in two by streams of bullets [that] swept like whirling knives … It was the Charge of the Light Brigade once more, but more terrible, more hopeless – magnificent, but not war – a valley of death filled by somebody’s blunder.
– Private Jimmy Downing, 57th Battalion